‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’ at the Met, the fashion exhibition of 2014

Known as America’s first couturier, Charles James rose to fame in the Forties. Consistently inspired by the surrealist art movement, his dresses were sculpted and often highlighted the hips. He redefined dress-making norms of the Fifties with his complex cuts and use of different fabrics, mixing velvet with satin, silk and crepe. The Met‘s display will feature 100 of his most impressive designs, along with sketches, swatches and clothing patterns. To build anticipation, the museum has released a new film celebrating his work – watch it. The exhibition opens on May 8 and closes on August 10, 2014

Charles James, Ball Gowns in Vogue 1948 photograhed by Cecil Beaton